How to Choose a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Troy 48007
Getting a physical therapist degree near Troy MI is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Troy MI hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Troy MI health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Troy MI area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Troy MI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Troy MI area and throughout Michigan, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make certain that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Troy MI physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Michigan Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Troy MI area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Troy MI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Troy health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Troy MI residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Troy MI area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Troy Michigan?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Troy MI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Troy is a city located in Metropolitan Detroit's northern suburbs in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 80,980 at the 2010 census, making it the 11th-largest city in Michigan by population, and the largest city in Oakland County. Troy has become a business and shopping destination in the Metro Detroit area, with numerous office centers and the upscale Somerset Collection mall.
In 2011, Troy was ranked the safest city in Michigan, as well as the 19th safest city in the nation. In 2008, Troy was ranked 22nd on a list of "Best Places to Live" in the United States by CNN Money, using criteria including housing, quality of education, economic strength, and recreational opportunities. In 2008, Troy ranked as the fourth most affordable U.S. city with a median household income of approximately $79,000.
The earliest recorded purchases of land in what was known as Troy Township occurred in 1819. A couple of years later a settlement known as Troy Corners was established due to Johnson Niles buying 160 acres in the region. The area is currently the north-central area of Troy. In 1827 Troy Township was established. In 1955 Troy was officially incorporated primarily as a strategy for preventing border cities from taking more land.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist School near Troy MI
Selecting the ideal physical therapist college is an important initial decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Troy MI.
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